Rug Care Tips Cheat Sheet

Rug Care Tips


• White cotton towels Small bowl + sponge Club soda

• Soft brush (not too stiff) Corn starch (or Morten's Salt) Hair dryer

*PET OWNERS - White vinegar + cool water (50/50)


*(Risk of color loss, discoloration, permanent yellowing, fiber damage and dye bleeding.)

• Do NOT use on Oriental and area rugs (wool/silk/cotton):

• Folex, Resolve, Oxyclean, Simple Green, Woolite, Baking Soda, or Bleach.

• Food & Drink Spills

• SPOON up solids, or VACUUM up dry pieces.

• If stain remains, use sponge to dampen the spill area with CLUB SODA.

• BLOT area with cotton TOWEL (do not rub).

• BLOT until spill stops transferring to the TOWEL.

• Place a folded towel UNDER and OVER the spill area to sandwich it.

• Stand on the sandwich to help excess moisture to wick out.

• If the spill appears to be gone, then use HAIR DRYER (on cool) to dry and groom the nap with the

• BRUSH. Prop area up for several hours so that the inside fibers dry completely.

• If the spill still looks to be there, pack the damp area with CORN STARCH and leave to completely dry

*(this may take 24 hrs - it will be hard to the touch). Chip away dry starch with a spoon and vacuum away. The corn starch will absorb whatever can be removed.

Pet Puddles

• Pick up solids. If stain remains, or if it is urine, dampen area with VINEGAR+WATER.

• Bend open the fibers and be sure to dampen full fibers (not just the top tips of them).

• BLOT area with cotton TOWEL. Do not rub.

*(ATTN: If you see DYES transferring to the towel, immediately stop getting the area damp and just pack with CORN STARCH.)

• BLOT until yellow urea from urine stops transferring to the TOWEL.

• Use HAIR DRYER (on cool setting) to dry and groom the nap with the BRUSH.

• Prop area up for several hours so that the inside fibers dry completely.

*FYI: Pet urine goes on hot and acidic, so it penetrates the fibers completely. Because rug dyes are acid dyes this means urine essentially "re-dyes" the fibers yellow and sets itself. If it is not dealt with immediately, stains can be permanent. You can lessen or remove the odor causing elements with the mentioned steps above.

OLD pet stains (7+ days) go from acidic to strongly alkaline in pH. Being the opposite of acid, this actually "dissolves" the rug dyes and can lead to color loss and dye migration in these specific areas. Repeated urine contamination not only devalues Oriental rugs, it is also a health concern for the indoor living environment (i.e. sewage contamination).

Other Rug Tips

• VACUUM weekly: Use upholstery attachment (or canister vacuum) when possible, running the head WITH the grain of the pile (not against it). If using an upright vacuum, put the beater bar setting on normal or high, and run side to side (so you don't suck up fringe).

• WASH recommendations: Rugs under normal (not heavy) use are to be cleaned every two years.

• Entry rugs, rugs in rooms with children/pets/allergy sufferers, can be cleaned annually. Rugs vacuumed weekly with moderate foot traffic can be cleaned every three years.

• Use PADS for rugs on hard floors. They lessen wear, keep rugs in place, and deter insects.

• STORAGE tips: Rugs should be stored clean, and if long-term storage an insect repellent rinse should be used. NEVER wrap wool or silk rugs in plastic, always use Kraft paper or Tyvek paper instead. If in a storage unit, make sure the rugs are elevated up off of the floor several inches (in case it ever floods) with nothing heavy stacked on top of them.

Click here for a downloadable PDF of these Rug Care Tips.


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